It’s been a minute since any potential recruiter announced a shortlist that included Market Golden Eagles. And that streak ended on Monday when Laurent Rice Marquette was placed in the top eight. Joining the Golden Eagles are Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Notre Dame, VCU, Xavier, and Ohio State.
I don’t want to tell anyone how he makes his college decision, but I think we can all agree that Marquette would clearly be in the top five if we included these eight programs based on how the 2021-22 season is going.
Rice is listed by 247 Sports as a 6’3″, 170-pound combo guard outside of Dayton, Ohio. He currently ranks number 130 in the state in the 247 composite system, making him the 18th combo guard and No. 3 player in Ohio. When Marquette offered On a Rice scholarship the same day the coaches were allowed to start calling the 2023 Horizons class, he wasn’t even in the 247 composite… but they also only came out in the top 40 at the time. He was number 70 in the 247 internal ranking at the time. And now he’s 93. I think this has more to do with the Scouting that’s been done over the past six months than it says anything about Rice’s talents and abilities.
Last season at Wayne High School in Dayton, Rice averaged 13.8 points per game with 5.1 best assists per game. He also made 2.1 steals and 56.3% of the field on his way to earning first-team honors in all conferences. He may be officially classified as a combo keeper by 247, but his high school coach says in the article I just linked that he played ball as a freshman before taking over as a goalkeeper in his sophomore year, and is definitely planning as a starting keeper at the next level.
This article from 247 Sports from the Monday before Rice announced his shortlist indicated that he averaged 19 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 3.6 steals per game while shooting 13 to 40 From long range in 12 games plus 76% of the game. Free throw line.
If you’re wondering what Shaka Smart likes about him, well, I guess the actual basketball part is nice, but check out these quotes from his high school coach found in Article 247:
“The most important thing is that his work ethic is second to none. He works very hard in the off-season. He goes to multiple coaches and does whatever we ask of him. He just has the mentality of ‘I have to be the leader now.'” People are watching me to see how I react.
“Everyone is looking forward to see how he will respond. He does a good job staying up the slope. He is a selfless kid and it shows. He works on those leadership qualities and is more outspoken and leads us this year. That will continue to grow this season and next season as well.”
Let’s Head to the Scholarship Scheme!
As mentioned earlier, Rice is a potential 2023 class, so it’s hard to get a solid treatment of how he will fit into Marquette’s 2023-24 slate until we see what the 2022-23 slate actually looks like. For now, pending what happens with Greg Elliott and his additional year of maturity, Marquette doesn’t expect to have any seniors in 2022-23. They are looking to have two scholarship sites open, but now I suspect those two are sitting open for 1) Elliot to come back if he wants and 2) Grad transfer.
If these two scholarship sites don’t fill out and/or go to Elliott and transfer to Grad, they will open again in 2023, which is where Rice will enter. At this point, he’s expected to be part of a backstory that will include Tyler Kollek, Cam Jones and Emaryon Ellis as well as freshmen for 2022 Sean Jones and Chase Ross. You can never have too many talented backcourt players, and with Kolek in his fourth year of eligibility at that point, it never hurts to add a guy who’s clearly progressing as a base guard at Division 1 level.